|Speak for Yourself
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If the voice sounds familiar, that may be because a couple of tracks have been featured on The O.C., while Frou Frou's "Let Go" appeared in Garden State. (Frou Frou is a collaboration between Heap and producer Guy Sigsworth.) Her sophomore release, after a UK-only debut, is a fine showcase for the singer/songwriter's swooping vocals. Her style, which incorporates layers of multi-tracking, lies somewhere between Sinead O'Connor's banshee howl and Jem's more delicate musings. There's more of a groove to her ouvre, however. At times, she almost sounds like Norway's Annie--by way of Kate Bush. The overall effect is plush and luxurious, if occasionally generic (a more stripped-down approach would really allow that instrument to shine). The one song that doesn't quite fit the electro-pop pattern is the vocoder-saturated "Hide and Seek," in which Heap enters Laurie Anderson territory (specifically 1982's "O Superman"). It's a risk that pays off, although its placement midway through the recording threatens to throw the balance off. (It would have made more sense at the end.) Aside from writing and singing, the multi-talented musician also recorded and produced Speak for Yourself. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Whether partnered with Guy Sigsworth as Frou Frou, or on her own, Imogen Heap is an enormously gifted singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist, and programmer. She does it all here on her second solo CD which showcases her remarkable talents. The stunning track 'Hide and Seek' offers the electronic equivalent of a cappella, with only Imogen's expressive voice heard via vocoder -- an early favorite that shot right to #1 on iTunes Electronic Chart in June 2005. The song was also featured on the season finale of THE O.C., and earlier in the season, THE O.C. previewed another track from this album called 'Goodnight and Go', a bittersweet ballad about the secret admiring of a neighbor. Comparison's have been made to Bjork, Alanis Morrisette, Joni Mitchell and Annie Lennox, among others, but no one can hold a candle to Imogen Heap. Her electronic programming and keyboarding are so textured and layered, you will hear something new with each and every listening. Her canvas is cinematic, operatic, visionary, and always surprising with twists, turns, tangents and breaks that keep the listener on a journey of the unexpected. Whether evoking a hundred piece orchestra, an electric slide guitar, or a simple vocoder, Heap weaves her magic spell. As a lyricist, Heap has a wicked sense of humor, yet can drive a knife right through your heart when you least expect it. Don't miss out on one of the very best albums of the year. No domestic release date scheduled. Megaphonic. 2005.
2005 Second Solo Album from the Classically Trained Pianist who was also Half of the Duo Frou Frou. The First Single "Hide and Seek" Found an Audience on Digital Download Services after Being Included on the 2004-5 Season Closing Episode of the Popular TV Series "The O.c.".
- grew on me big time
Perhaps I had enough electronica in the 80's, but the allure of a guitar and good vocals is usually what I will turn toward now. My first reaction to this C.D. was the same as with my introducion to the Postal Service...ugh, stop with the keyboard already...but in both cases the cleaver lyrics and inteligent compositions of the tunes conviced me to stick around awhile. Let me just say if this C.D. were a cassette tape...the first 4 tracks wouldn't play anymore they would be so worn out....more info
- Love it!
I fell in love with Heap's song "Hide and Seek" from the 2007 Grammy Nominees selection album. I looked her up and bought this CD. I love it! Plan to buy her other work as well. Not at all disappointing, as you sometimes find when you have only heard one song from an artist. I am satisfied! I don't want to categorize, but she almost sounds similar to what Enya might, if Enya sang pop music....more info
- One Up on Details!!!
My life was significantly altered after first hearing Frou Frou and Details. I was opened up to a whole new musical feast and am forever grateful. I was so excited to see Imogen come out with something new, though I was a bit hesitant that she was going it alone. I didn't know how it would compare to Details. To my surprise, I feel it actually surpasses it. I have had the album for about 10 months now and have had Details for over a year and have given them about equal play time. My conclusion is that Speak For Yourself has held up slightly better than Details. It has a little bit better flow and I LOVE every song. If you enjoyed Details from Frou Frou, you will also enjoy this album. If you love this album and haven't yet heard Details, go out and get it....more info
- The beautiful tones and colors of Immi
Overall, I'm pretty pleased as punch with my latest choice of auditory bliss. I find it exciting how Imogen is able to paint a vivid picture with her words and vocal productions. She is so good at turning the tones of her voice into its own instrument. My pleasure picks on this album would inevitably be "Hide and Seek", "The Walk", "Closing In" and "The Moment I Said It." Some tunes are just a little too poppy for me like "Say GoodNight And Go" and "Have you got it in you?" But overall, this CD is definitely worth anyone's time and small investment! :) ...more info
- No Copy Protection on My CD
I just received this CD in the mail and after playing and ripping it with WMP 10 with no problems, I can confirm it definitely does *not* have any copy protection. I've read Sony's settlement site thoroughly and although this CD does appear on the list of MediaMax titles, it does not have the MediaMax labeling anywhere on the CD or packaging. I have CD autorun disabled on my computer, so no software was installed and yet the CD plays fine. I'm actually disappointed, because I was looking forward to getting a couple free albums with the settlement! :-) But it's still a great CD....more info
I discovered this album after watching the premiere of CBS's "Smith" which featured the track Hide and Seek during one of the scenes. I instantly feel in love with her voice. I believe her new album is due for release in a few weeks which I'll be purchasing as well....more info
- Relaxing, Soothing and Mesmerizing
Speak for Yourself speaks for itself. This is an album full of melodically
and electronically interesting songs that take you on a journey on every
listen. And be sure to check out Imogen's video of my favorite track,
"Goodnight and Go". It helps me "unwind" at the end of the day. Like I
said, the CD is mesmerizing....more info
- I love it...
I love it when I find something and it FINALLY gets big time success. I've been listening to Imogen Heap for more than 2 years now. WAY before "Hide and Seek" found its way onto the OC. I hate that THAT'S the only song that anyone cares about when they buy the cd...especially since just about ALL the songs are worth delving into.
I love every song, except for Daylight Robbery. That just doesn't rub me right. But EVERY OTHER SONG is amazing. And oh so very intimate and sweet (not in a sexual manner at all).
I Megaphone is amazing as well. Immi sings in a lower tone and its so cool! She has such a beautiful range!...more info
- Great CD from start to finish...
I bought this CD because one of the songs was play on 'So You Think You Can Dance' to one of the lyrical numbers. Truly beautiful. It's one of those CDs that you can listen to from start to finish without disappointment. Great unique arrangements. Beautiful voice. Soothing yet strong. Love it!...more info
Pros: Everything. The CD acts like a siren, you're sucked in and before you know it, you've been immersed in the music.
The Bottom Line: A unique and wonderful listening experience.
Mesmerizing is the first word to come to mind when I think of Imogen Heap's work. Not only are the songs well done; but they sound nothing like one another. Then take into account that she wrote, produced, and worked for a year creating this album. She sings all the vocals, plays keyboard, synthesizes everything, and re-mortagaged her entire flat/apartment to fund the release (and production) this album. Yet, the songs and CD still own a professional quality. Now, this, dear reader, is what I call a labour for the love of music. (And, I must add, the quality of this CD alone puts to shame the many artists who are funded automatically; yet release sub-par CDs.)
Luckily, Imogen managed to gain enough to fund "Speak For Yourself" and what a CD it is!
Imogen's vocals have a very other-worldy feel to them, the vocals are like no other. She has a very nice, calming voice that is pleasant to listen to. She is not afraid to experiment with differing styles - most particularly on "Hide and Seek" where her vocals take on both a synthesized sound (while managing to sound natural) and acapella at the same time. Elsewhere, "The Walk" is sung with a powerful sadness of someone not wanting to feel upset over lost love. Opposite this "Headlock" has a wonder aspect in terms of sound, as if one is in a different world all together. Yet, Imogen also exhibits a tinge of realization, reflection, and forwardness when it comes to another person's excuses. "The Moment I said It" is another fantastic example. Imogen uses her range on this powerful ballad, sounding completely angelic. In fact, it was this very song that caught my attention and made me want to buy this CD in the first place.
The songs themselves are, as mentioned, very different from one another. "Headlock" begins on a calm note; but turns up the beat halfway through becoming a completely different song at the end. It is a beautiful piece of music - energizing and powerful.
"Goodbye and Go" becomes a song one could dance to. It is fun and playful much like the theme of the song, which revolves around a crush. "Have You Got it in You?" follows in a more serious tone. The keyboards on this song are exquisite, exhibiting a nostalgic and pensive feeling. It is a favourite of mine. "Loose Ends" returns to that dance-like feeling; but this time, Imogen sings in a more serious tone about love gone sour. Accompanied by the the shifting instrumental tunes, the song becomes a standout. You can almost see her wandering around a city thinking about what to say to her man about the mess their relationship has gone though as the beats heighten. "Hide and Seek" becomes the most unique song on the album, by being all acapella, save for the synthesizer sound.
Nor is Imogen's creativity stinted: she does not use only conventional instruments. In "Closing In" the beat is created by Imogen banging CD cases against carpet tube castaways. Quite amazing to say the least.
Overall, the CD is an absolute gem from beginning to end.
Recommended: Absolutely. ...more info
- Fun album with repeatablity
Imogen Heap has a beautiful voice. This album is filled with songs that highlight that voice without seeming to overwhelm you with it. The album is enjoyable listening to as a whole or focusing on a couple of songs. It stands up to repeated listening, which is more than can be said for much of the popular radio fare....more info
- Sing to yourself to!
The hit "Hide and seek" is great! I cannot justify buying the whole CD for one song. The other material is okay but forgetable. Buy the "2007 Grammy nominations" CD, instead. It has Imogen's hit on it and a whole lot of other good music, as well....more info
- Stratus Clouds and Thunderheads
Imogen Heap has a clear, crystalline voice that drips with a glittering, yen-like sensuality. Good God, her voice is like a pile of down comforters, like tidal froth, like twirled stacks of milky white clouds.
If her voice is a cloud, the music behind her voice is the static energy built up, pending, crackling, occasionally erupting throughout and down in bursts of brilliant light. This album is alive with sumptuous contours that sparkle with lively electronic spirit. Sometimes it's dark ("Headlock," "Have You Got It In You?," "Clear the Area,"), sometimes it's stormy ("Closing In," "Daylight Robbery," "I Am In Love With You,"), sometimes it's almost painfully bright and sincere ("The Moment I Said It," "Hide and Seek," "The Walk").
It's hard, when you have a voice as distinctive as Ms. Heap's, for the songs to not occasionally sound like clones of each other, and there are few times when the album is excessively pop-peppy ("Goodnight And Go," for example, is almost too sweet, like the main soundtrack song to a pre-teen movie, the one they would play when the two lovers are running toward each other through a field of daisies). But most of this record thrives on a subtler and finer beauty, borrowed from the tenderness of Heap's delicate throat and the adrenaline of the electronic melodies, creating something infectious and uplifting.
We all know that clouds may look soft and puffy, but they're actually just cold and insubstantial. This record will give you pause to dream again, as when you were a child, what it might be like to sink into such comfortable and exciting depths. Imogen Heap makes the sky look inviting again....more info
- So beautiful
As always Imogen outdoes herself. The beats are driven, textured, the sound complex. Her vocals and lyrics always are beyond pleasure.
I thought Details was amazing. This is further than amazing! ...more info
- Superbly Polished and Produced Effort from trip-hop songstress.
Imogen Heap first came to my attention via Details, the debut album from the now defunct outfit Frou Frou. I adored that album, but not as much as I love this album.
Solo, Imogen is a more potent and poignant formula. Speak for Yourself is full of swirling electronica, basically everything that made Frou Frou so great. But the difference here is it is more convincing.
Her solo material is great drawing on many different influences, like the Laurie Anderson inspired "Hide & Seek" and the Bjork romp "Headlock".
Her smokey English vocals are downright sexy snd her ability in songwriting is wholly admirable.
In my opinion Imogen was the unfair loser at the last GRAMMY's, she should've taken out the Best New Artist gong over that dreadful Carrie Underwood....more info
I stumbled upon Imogen Heap kind of haphazzardly and let's say I'm very glad I did. This is my favortie CD of hers personally. It has a much more refined sound from "I Megaphone" and is of higher quality in general. Pretty much every song is in someway related to a relationship that has gone wrong, is going wrong, or is starting off well and so on. Her voice is amazing and is really the main instrument in the entire thing. In some cases the rest of the music can be very scarce and that only thing holding it all together is her beautiful voice. For anyone who loves a great songstress and enjoys the occasional electronica, you cannot go wrong with Imogen Heap....more info
- One of my favorites!
I was unsure about this album when I bought it, but it has become one of my favorites! The style is very european and a little different, but I love it! The songs are very down to earth, and it seems as if they are written from Imogen's heart rather than to impress anyone. If you like Keane, I think you will like Imogen Heap....more info
- One of the best albums I have
I fell in love with Frou Frou a few years ago after hearing "Let Go" from the Garden State trailer. Recently, I learned via Pandora that Imogen Heap, Frou Frou's vocalist, had several solo albums. To be blunt, Pandora helped me discover what turned out to be one of, if not the best album in my entire library.
Imogen's lyrics are clever, emotionally charged, and beautiful. Her voice is incredible and dynamic. The music itself is unique and fits the tone of her words to a tea, and keeps me intellectually interested as well....more info
- Ethereal Electronica Done Right
What can I say, I love just about everything Imogen Heap's done except that godawful dress hat combo she wore to the Grammys. Ignore the dress, buy this album. She can actually sing with pushing notes out via her nose, her lyrics don't know the word banal and your coolness quotient will increase. This album is simply good music....more info
- Amazing Voice and Songs
I heard HIDE AND SEEK while watching the premiere of SMITH on CBS. The song blew me away and I immediately started searching the Internet for the artist. Heap's album, SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, is fresh and addictive. HEADLOCK will embed itself in your gray matter and sing to you all day. Drop everything and buy this album. You won't regret it....more info
- Mixed Review
I have much admiration for Imogen Heap but do not come from a place of knowing her musical journey. I found her while watching end credits to the Narnia movie (12/05). That track alone (Can't Take It In) was the reason I bought the movie's soundtrack.
But to get to this particular CD, SFY, I bought IT because I heard the Hide and Seek track on someone's MySpace page and was instantly riveted. After listening to the entire CD multiple times, Hide and Seek is still my far and away favorite; more telling is that Hide and Seek is the only one I can clearly distinguish from the rest. The seasoned fan of what I consider to be experimental electronica will likely be able to reap more enjoyment. If you're a song-driven person, digital download will probably suffice....more info
- Beautiful and inspiring!
Recently, I put my iTunes on shuffle (not sumthin I normally do), and Imogen's "Hide and Seek" started to play. My whole body started to tingle cuz I just love this song, and I hadn't heard in quite a while. After the song had finished, I immediately took my iTunes off shuffle mode, and started "Speak For Yourself!" from track one. "Ahh....!!" I thought to myself, "...such an inspiring album!"...I bathed my hearing senses with every nuance I could soak in. Into my 2nd-listen-in-a-row through the album, I had a disturbing thought! - I had never written a review of one of my all time favorite albums, ever!
First of all, as anyone would agree, Imogen has a beautifully trained voice. She can transition from a soft whisper to a scream like nobody's business! (ok, she really doesn't scream). But in other words, I guess the point I'm trying to get out, is that she doesn't sing they same way, in every song....she's a very dynamic vocalist! And from what I understand, she writes, sings, composes and produces most everything herself (wow).
Her music, second of all, is very impressive. It's vibrant, rich, intelligent and full of subleties that paints a very unique and wonderful soundscape she can call all her own. Song structures are generally comprised of electronics as the backbone, such as percussion and bass lines, while the more melodic instrumentation may be a combination of piano, strings, xylophone, or some other exotic sounding instrument, mixed with other synthetic tembres. As an analogy, the music is very synchronous and acrobatic, much like watching a complicated peice of machinery at work. A friend recently sent me a link to one of her video blogs where she just aquired an instrument called "De Hang", it's like a hand-held steel drum, but much better sounding (in my opinion). I hope to hear this thing in her upcoming release this Fall! :)
And speaking of her blogs, I've been catching up on them and have formed somewhat of a sisterly liking to her worldly persona. As a musician myself, her passion for her music is very inspiring and motivating. As a person, her passion about life and little things is apparently something she enjoys, and is inspiring as well. I feel even more connected to her and her music, thanks to her video blogs (which are on YouTube and accessible from her website here: http://www.imogenheap.co.uk/).
Anyhooo....regardless of what your musical preference is, you should take a listen to "Speak For Yourself". It's a "must have" in my book!